The South Slave Divisional Education Council (SSDEC) is one of the Northwest Territories’ eight major school boards. The South Slave region consists of the communities of Fort Smith, Hay River, Fort Resolution, Kátł’odeeche First Nation Reserve, and the fly-in-only community of Łutsel K’e. Given the vast distances between communities, and the relatively small populations, the eight schools of the South Slave range in enrolment from 60 to 300 students, totalling a student population of just over 1300 students.
The two larger communities provide elementary, middle and high schools with grade configurations familiar to southern Canadians. The three smaller communities contain just one K-12 school each. The population of the South Slave is approximately 70% Indigenous, with five different languages taught in the SSDEC schools: Chipewyan, Cree, Slavey, French, and English. School programs are built upon the foundation of the language and culture of the communities.
Each community is governed by a locally-elected District Education Authority (DEA). Each DEA has one representative on the District Education Council (DEC), which governs the schools and staff in the South Slave.
The Council’s primary responsibility is to provide for the educational needs of the students of the South Slave region. This involves establishing Council policy, determining the allocation of financial resources, monitoring, evaluating, and reporting results to its stakeholders.